Acute NHS Trust with multiple hospital locations
An Acute NHS Trust split across 4 hospital locations.
This NHS Trust depends upon an on-premise paging solution to support both crash and emergency paging alongside being used for more routine staff location and messaging purposes. Their solution was becoming outdated and increasingly unreliable alongside increasing costs to replace handsets which were regularly being misplaced or broken. The NHS Trust decided to commission a review into both the capability and robustness of the current pager solution and into the potential of providing an enhanced messaging solution for some or all staff. 4C Strategies were retained to undertake the required study.
How 4C Strategies helped
The overall objective of the assignment was to formulate a messaging strategy for staff. In particular, The NHS Trust wished to retain their pager system for emergency use but lower the cost associated with the current system as well as lowering the number of users depending on this system for non-critical communication. In conjunction, they wished to introduce a user-friendly system whereby staff could communicate and collaborate. 4C Strategies were tasked two-fold. Firstly, with looking at what could be done in the short term to improve the legacy pager system and secondly to investigate a cloud-based solution which would provide phone and messaging options for mobile staff to allow them to communicate for internal non-emergency purposes.
To begin with, 4C Strategies interviewed the consulting IT staff responsible for the provision of IT services including paging and messaging, to find out their thoughts and gain insight on the workings of the current system.
4C Strategies also held a number of discussions with doctors, nurses and administration staff to find out the different work styles and ways in which these could be more effectively addressed than the current arrangement was delivering.
This valuable insight enabled 4C Strategies to put together a strategy and recommendations report which studied in detail how the current system could be flexed to work whilst considering the operational needs of all staff.
Outcome and benefits
4C Strategies found that the current solution broadly met the functional requirements for crash and emergency. However, the current level of reliability and vendor support provided was not proportional to a critical service such as this. It was found that the current solution met the minimum requirements only for other (non-crash) messaging requirements. It did not meet the identified and emerging requirements for corporate messaging that can be audited and administered centrally and users were resorting to the use of non-approved communication methods such as WhatsApp and SMS.
Therefore, 4C Strategies recommendation was that the NHS Trust should:
- Continue to use the current system for crash and emergency paging in the short to medium term.
- Introduce a purpose designed messaging solution based upon a smartphone app for non-emergency paging.
- Over the longer term, once the solution was proven to be sufficiently robust, crash and emergency paging would be migrated to the messaging solution.
4C Strategies are an independent consultancy specialising in assisting NHS organisations with communications related projects. If this case study is relevant to you and you would like to speak to us further concerning your requirements, please call us on 01858 438938 and we will be happy to advise you or to arrange a formal consultation. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.